tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC November 28, 2012 11:00pm-12:00am PST
the problem in massachusetts is that scott brown did just spend a lot of money and there aren't as many big candidates out there. >> thanks, ari. >> thanks, lawrence. >> the frying of susan rice. let's play "hardball." good evening i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start with this war in washington. say what you will about the election we just had. this one's hotter, nastier, more personal. one side says it's about character, about whether a close confederate of the president told the truth, the whole truth as she knew it when she went on national television and said the death of a u.s. ambassador was a
spontaneous reaction to an anti-muslim video, some trouble-making clown made out in california. ignoring john mccain and his ail argue evidence it was an organized act of terrorism. not so says the president. his u.n. ambassador and close friend simply told the truth as she was permitted to tell it, what the cia gave her to say and no more. for that he charges susan rice, in the words of the new york post, being fried. political fight fans on the tabloids relish this extreme combat what should be a good person's judgment? that's my question tonight. is susan rice now a surrogate for the president, someone to take the punishment when others above her pay grade should be answering the questions, or is she accountable for going on national television knowing she can't tell the whole truth because it's classified? let's begin with senator susan collins, republican of maine. i guess it's the toughest question in the world, senator, and that is, do you believe that susan rice, the u.n. ambassador, knowingly covered up a breach of national security?
>> well, let me say this, chris, our purpose is to understand the security failure in benghazi. what the administration told the american public about it. and how we can learn lessons to keep our personnel safer in the future. so that's my interest and goal in this situation. i think indeed ambassador rice herself has admitted that the information she gave out on those sunday shows was not accurate in several crucial aspects. she says she relied on information that was given to her but it's obvious that she chose to emphasize some aspects and downplay others. and frankly, i think the u.n. ambassador a long with the secretary of state, should be
above politics and that she should have just said, no i'm not going to go on those shows. it's the wrong issue and the wrong time of year. i've got to maintain my credibility. >> do you know or believe that she was given classified materials which conflicted with what she said on "meet the press" and those other shows? >> the classified materials are different from the unclassified, but they are not different when it comes to a discussion of many of the major elements. what bothers me a great deal is the president of libya himself was saying this was a terrorist attack, that they had arrested 50 people and that there had been al qaeda influence to individuals from other countries that had come in. and that it was premeditated and planned.
and i just don't understand why the administration would have susan rice go on television and say that the views essentially of the president of libya just didn't matter. she completely discounted them. that doesn't make sense to me. >> you suggested she was behaving politically. fair enough, if that's the case. what would be the political purpose in denying the role of terrorism in this act, the central role of terrorism, organized terrorism, in the death of ambassador stevens? what would be her purpose politically in that? >> i believe that the administration wanted to portray libya as an unqualified success story. and ambassador rice was one of the chief advocates of our involvement in libya, so arguably had a personal stake in that as well.
i think it was contrary of the administration to say libya was awash with weapons, that there was a growing al qaeda presence, that there were training camps for islamic extremists, particularly near benghazi. and that there had been 274 security incidents in just the past 13 months, five of which were -- i mean, one out of five were in benghazi, including an attempt on the life of the british ambassador that caused the british to withdraw their consulate from benghazi. so i think it was contrary to the success story the administration wanted to portray when it comes to libya. >> let me go back to the facts, as you know them now. was there a role played by that video, that anti-islamic video made in california, in this horror story? did it play a role?
>> it may have inspired some of the people who later entered the compound. but i have not seen evidence that it was the cause of the violent attack on our personnel in benghazi that caused four americans their lives. and certainly ambassador rice's statement on abc news said it was the direct result was not accurate. today she told me she did not intend to say what she said on abc. >> this was in "the new york times" about what we know now of the attacks of benghazi. this is the "new york times." straight reporting. on the ground accounts indicate that miss rice's description of the attack, though wrong in some respects, was accurate in others. witnesses to the assault said it
was carried out by members of al shariah, the militant group, without any warning or protest in retaliation for american-made video mocking the prophet muhammad. is that the truth, as you know it? >> it's partially the truth. when you look at what happened, and i've reviewed tapes, classified materials, i sat through hours of briefings, there were some people who no doubt came onto the compound, not only to loot it but because they were angry about the video. but that is not the primary cause of the assault on the compound. if you look at what happened, there was clearly no protest, and the administration concedes that now, there were no protests that preceded the assault on the compound.
and the fact is that that was known prior to september 16th, when ambassador rice went on those shows. there was conflicting information, i will totally, readily concede that, but there was reporting and information that said there wasn't any protest, including interviews with people who had been there on the ground. so for ambassador rice or any other administration official to maintain with such certitude that there was no -- that there was a protest and that the assault was primarily linked to the video just does not hold up. >> thank you so much for coming on "hardball," senator. >> thank you. now david corn, washington bureau chief for "mother jones." the senator just said her
complaint or concern about the ambassador's position on the sunday shows in the days after the attack of our facility in benghazi is not that she was con trained by not being able to use classified material but that she took the material she was given, shaped it politically and used it to protect the president's narrative that winning in libya was a clean win. there was no complication of an emerging al qaeda-related organization there. >> well, i'll -- >> is that straight? make sense to you? >> i think you sum it up right. i will give her credit for admitting what a lot of people on the right haven't, that it was a confusing situation. "the new york times," ap have reported from the ground that while the people who launched the attack seemed to come in not as a protest but as they came in, they rounded up people and they told people, while they were mounting the attack they were mad about the film. it might have been premeditated. they were using the film, which
was in the news -- >> you're great at this but let's get to the heart of the argument. what they don't like on the republican side any suggestion to put -- let's put al qaeda to death, period. they think that's a pr statement -- >> let's -- >> no, let's stick to that. they're angry because they think it's presidential politics. not truth-telling. >> they're attributing more al qaeda to this attack and this group. this was a militia well established in benghazi. they had been working with the government there to do security. it wasn't an al qaeda -- >> they were armed with rpgs and attacked our facility. they were terrorists -- >> i think -- >> they were terrorists that day. >> a lot of terrorists aren't al qaeda. when she said at the beginning that the key thing here is to the security failure in benghazi, she's correct. that's not susan rice's responsibility. that's the state department -- >> i know. >> susan rice is being asked to defend all kinds of stuff that's really the responsibility of the state department and the cia to explain right now. it was mainly a cia operation. this afternoon in a cabinet meeting president obama answered
a question from a reporter the heat, i was calling it the fried rice, the headline in the new york post, the fried rice from republicans on the hill. take a look at the president's way of handling this today. >> mr. president, do you think it's being fair to susan rice. >> thanks, guys. susan rice is extraordinary. couldn't be prouder of the job she's done at u.s. u.n. >> you saw hillary clinton leading the applause. really, you know, to be fair about it, the officer in charge was the state department and the cia. you're going to take the u.n. ambassador, haul her before all these people the last couple of days as if she's the expert on benghazi. >> the big thing is not what she said on a talk show. it's what actually happened and what should be done after it. if you look at the talking point, unclassified talking points, she didn't sit there and weigh and decide what to say. she kind of did what many people in washington, including senators often do, stuck to the
unclassified talking points and didn't go into the other stuff. >> they believe she shifted -- to get her testimony we got here from susan collin, she believes the ambassador to the u.n. went on television on sunday, not a talk show, but "meet the press," which is about establishing hard news on sunday, it's a very -- you know the cycle -- >> he no, we -- >> the government puts officials on to make official statements. >> right. >> her official statement said was shaded in a political direction and her argument is she shouldn't have been doing that. >> she attributed that to susan rice when the information came from cia and -- >> she's treating her like a principle. thank you, david corn. coming up, what's wrong with this picture. this is what the new republican chairman of the house looked like. they have a certain pattern in common. gender, race, all white, all male. what's going on in a party that's supposed to be learning how to appeal to general minorities. did the republicans learn anything from the election?
plus, are we seeing the first signs of republicans giving ground on the fiscal cliff? oklahoma's tom cole, a member of congress says the grand old party should take president obama's view, extend bush tax cuts for all but the top 2%. that's a sign some republicans may be open to higher rates for the rich. is it possible negotiators could learn something from the most important movie out there right now "lincoln." doris kearns goodwin joins us. let me finish with how lincoln outlawed slavery for good and how he did it using politics. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
believe they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. >> well, the cook report points out romney shared a popular vote of this country has fallen to, you guessed it, 47.4%. as expected to fall further, and settle at the 47 mark, exactly. we'll be right back. [ woman ] . progresso. in what world do potatoes, bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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african-americans, latinos and women generally you think a picture like this, look at it, would be something republicans would want to try to avoid. yet these are the faces of the house committee chairman, men, selected by the republican party. i guess there's a little diversity there. white man with brown hair, white man with blond hair, old white guy, young white guy. do the republican party people in charge of the house, for example, did they learn anything from the 2012 election results? not the big promotion that came before. look who's laughing, joan walsh, editor-at-large at salon. her new book "what's matter with white people," appropriate for tonight's discussion. tom davis is what we used to call moderate republican. former congressman from virginia. he's like the kind of people i grew up with in pennsylvania who were republicans, like bill scrand, tom ridge. joan, looking at that survey picture, a graphic we should
look at again, all those dozens of committee chairs -- you can actually call them chairmen in that case. you don't have to get confused. the top three leader, speaker majority leader, majority whip all men, white guys. i guess that's to be assumed in some cases. in this republican case, i must say, what is going on here? >> it's almost like they're defiant, chris, like they're saying, you know, we're not going to listen to the election results. we're not going to change a darn thing we're doing. we think we're doing just fine. we got here, this is the club, this is the way we're going to keep it. where were the women they were pushing out during the war on women debate? kathy morris rogers, who worked for them, defended them, and defended in my mind, terrible policies. where are these people now. i want to flip something around and point out the house democratic caucus leadership is incredibly diverse. it's that diverse leadership that's going to be defending the
benefits of white seniors, most of whom voted for mitt romney. there are so many ironies here. but it's the democratic party, the face -- >> you're saying the last vestige of support for keeping all the entitlements which help older people are the young, healthy -- >> healthy, diverse -- >> -- black, members of congress -- >> -- women. >> yes. that's ironically what our economy will look like in worker bees and retirement bees. >> now and -- >> you're playing defense here tonight. don't join us as a commentary. what's the story about your party. i see it -- i get increasingly aware, as you watch this show develop over the last 18 years in different forms, i get increasingly aware there's all white people at the table. a sunday show, for example, you get a sense, there's something wrong with this picture. do republicans have that sensitivity? >> she mentioned rogers, the number four people -- >> what do they do? >> they hold conferences every
week. they run the retreats. >> run the retreats? >> john boehner -- >> you're getting in deeper and deeper. >> they run the caucus meetings every week. she runs the caucus, decides which speakers come in. vice chair of the caucus, lynn jenkins, virginia fox -- >> what's a more important position, chairman and vice chairman of the caucus or speaker of the house -- >> or committee chair. >> any of the committees. >> caucus chairman trumps the committee chairmanship. i've been both. i've been in the leadership and i've been a committee chair. look, you only had one woman in contentious for committee chairmanship, candace miller. they're knife fights. when the caucus was allowed to speak, they elected -- they selected the woman. unfortunately, you know -- >> a bloomberg article points out uncomfortable optics, the white republican house is going
to present. quote, the visuals will be striking when the house debates whether to overhaul the country's tax code and consider ways to keep the costs in social security and medicare under control. white males of the republican party will be arguing to reduce benefits while women and minority will make a case for keeping the safety net where it is. the irony is men and women have the same political power, historically. all live longer than men. in the old folks home there's one guy there -- >> very popular guy. >> his ears are enormous. all these women are there because they tend to live longer and they have an interest in social security and medicare more than men do. >> and we're also poorer. at the middle of our lives and end of our lives, we're poorer, so we rely on safety net programs and we need them. women have been much more -- going back to the reagan election of 1980 that's when you saw the gender gap because the social safety net was being threatened and women do vote. it's not only or mainly abortion, choice or
contraception. it's economic issues. those come in to play, too. so i think this is -- we have today, another data point, where stuart stevens in washington post brags romney won the votes of people who make over $50,000. as though people who make less than $50,000, a, don't matter as much and, b, didn't make up, you know, a majority or don't make up a majority of the country. there's a tin ear when it comes to issues of race and gender, but also class. that i don't think -- you know, we heard some good things in the days after -- >> it's the we/they thing. by the way, reagan -- it's we people are employed compared to those people aren't employed. lets me read this from matt dowd. what's happened with republicans is they are -- what's happened is -- here it is. let's watch. here it is. >> what's happening with the republicans is they are -- the republican party is a mad men party in a modern family mesh and it doesn't fit anymore.
>> "a mad men" party, 1960s in a "modern family" environment. >> they're bringing analog to digital campaigns. voter turnout has changed dramatically as the under class, minorities are starting to vote at this point. and it's changed the whole electorate -- >> look at your state, tom. northern virginia, who has a lot of single women. they come to work in washington. some get married, some don't. they stay there. they work all their lives in washington but necessity live across the river. they vote democrat generally, right? >> yeah, particularly those who are in toward the city. >> what's that about? how are you going to get them back? >> single women across the country have been voting more and more democratic. married women tend to vote more republicans. i think you get them back with policy, optics are important. republicans understand that. it's a long -- there's no silver bullet for it. >> you should have run condoleezza rice years ago. senator for california could have been condi rice. >> i want to give you free advice. i don't think you should refer
to the underclass. that's a dated word. that's not who we're talking about here. you know, we're talking about a lot of -- >> economically they have less. i'll use a more politically correct term. no offense meant, obviously. >> it's a more accurate term, you know, when we talk about people who make less than $50,000, a lot of those -- those are middle class people, too. some are working poor -- >> that's not where the voter turnout came, if you know your voter stats. it's people making less than that, pulled out of the apartments, groups. it's not the middle class, it's the lower middle class who not traditionally even participated. >> that's right. necessity didn't used to participate. they participate more now. that's a wonderful thing for our country. they deserve to participate. >> it's not $50,000 class. that's my point. >> thanks, tom. >> he's a good guy. >> okay. >> susan, i mean -- he's a good guy, joan. anyway, thank you, joan walsh. i'm trying to help him out here. he came on the show. he was nice enough to do that. you'll always be here. it's a home game for you.
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welcome back to "hardball." it's not the best of time for grover norquist. with republicans starting to kiss off his anti-text pledge, here's stephen colbert. >> obama's answer to taxes is to raise taxes on the wealthy because he ran on that promise and won the elections. it's like he's totally disregarding my dismisses ive finger quotes. what part of this don't you understand? president obama? republicans might let him do it, even though every republican in congress has signed the no taxes pledge, created by the president of americans for tax reform, grover norquist.
the two most terrifying words a republican can hear, other than buenos dias. >> seems like republicans are having an easier time writing off norquist than appealing to latinos. which former gop candidate got a nod on the cbs show "ncis: los angeles" last night? one of the detectives on last night's episode gave us a throwback to a certain candidate's tax plan. >> huh? look at all those center hits. nine, nine, nine. should change my name to herman cain. >> yeah? i think it's more like peewee herman. read them and weep. >> you know what? these targets are culturally biased. >> against what, surfers? >> 9-9-9 is how we remember herman cain. i guess it's better than 6-6-6.
should accept president obama's tax offer. earlier today the president made note of it. let's listen. >> i'm glad to see, if you've been reading the papers lately, that more and more republicans in congress seem to be agreeing with this idea that we should have a balanced approach. so, if both parties agree we should not raise taxes on middle class families, let's begin our work with where we agree. >> congressman, thank you for joining us tonight. give us your thinking about why it's important, i know politically it makes sense to many people, middle class, people making up to $250,000 a year, get the tax cut continued but people above are basically decoupled from that much larger group of people. >> well, chris, i don't think taxes ought to go up for anybody. i think it's bad economic policy. it will eventually cost us jobs and eventually slow the economy. that's going to cost us revenue as well. i don't agree with the president on that point.
frankly, i think he needs to be a lot more specific about putting spending cuts and entitlement reform on the table. having said that, though, if the president's willing to accept 80% of the bush tax cuts for 98% of the american people and make them permanent, that's a point we should agree on, do that, and continue to fight for the things we believe in, simply because we accept that part of his offer doesn't mean we have to agree with the rest. but what i think a lot of people forget is, look, these tax rates are going up automatically unless congress acts. i favor acting to save as many of them as possible. >> makes sense. here's today, the speaker of the house john boehner signaled you out for your remarks on the compromise. let's listen to what you he said about you, sir. >> i told tom earlier in our conference meeting that i disagreed with him. you're not going to grow the economy if you raise tax rates on the top -- on the top two rates. it will hurt small businesses. it will hurt our economy. >> well, you're still arguing past each other there, with all
respect to the speaker, you said you really want to get the tax cuts ensured and maintained for people, most americans, 98% of americans. not so much you disagree about the top two. the speaker seems to be saying, don't separate the two issues because politically we'll never be able to save the rich unless we couple them with the regular people. >> look, i think the speaker is in a tough negotiation. i fully support him, what he's trying to achieve, no rate increase, but meet the president partway on revenue. i support that. i suspect he'll negotiate and at the end of the day he'll ask us to support have tough vote. i'll probably help him again. again, this was a private discussion in a couple of whip meetings. i was asked what i thought. i said what i thought. i still believe that. but i respect the speaker. look, he's a friend of mine. we have a great relationship. he certainly can speak honestly and openly to me. i value that. he's always given me the same privilege in return. >> well, here's this morning,
grover norquist, of course, the tax guy, said republicans should drag out tax negotiation as long as needed, he put it, whatever that means. but let's listen to grover here. >> they can give him debt ceiling increases once a month. they can have him on a rather short leash on a small -- you know, here's your allowance, come back next month if you behaved. >> wait. you're proposing the debt ceiling be increased month by month? >> monthly feels good. weekly is not. >> the last time that congress fought with the president over the debt ceiling it caused our bond rating to drop. why would this guy want to tap in on a monthly basis where we're jeopardizing our credit standing in the world every month? what sense that? >> you know, i think what caused our bond rating to drop is the fact we're running unsustainable deficits and not dealing with our problem. that's exactly what the -- what the speaker is trying to get at. in terms of this issue, again, look, these are all people i like. these are people i agree with philosophically. i also want to do a good deal
for the american taxpayer, including 98% of them. if we can take care of their issue -- i think we'll win the debate. i think they agree with us fundamentally that increases in taxes on anybody cost jobs. that's not good. but as long as it's owe their head their taxes might go up, i think they don't really have time to focus on that debate. again, i just think we ought to take that off. we agree with the president on that. but i respect the speaker. i support the speaker. >> we'll watch how this plays out. joining me is democratic, barbara boxer wrote in politico today. we're looking there at a picture of, senator, of tip o'neill and reagan signing the bill. >> yes. >> on social security reform. you spoke about an earlier issue in your piece today about how they got together in '82, the year before.
>> that's right. that was the year i was elected, so i came into the house of representatives in 1983. but there was such a feeling of camaraderie because about half of the democrats and half the republicans came together and guess what the problem was? raging deficits, not enough revenues and we needed to cut some spending, too. we needed to make sure that people got their unemployment benefits. tip o'neill realized that he was speaker of the house. not speaker of the democrats. and he had that magic. the magic to him was 218 votes. and that's what i wish john boehner would do. because if he took a page out of tip o'neill's book, we'll be off this fiscal cliff and i compliment congressman cole for his courage in saying, you know, the president's given us 98%, essentially, of what we want. let's take it and we'll argue over the millionaires and the billionaires later.
>> you know, you're probably one of the really key leading progressives in the united states senate. i've watched your heroic campaigns every six years. i'm walls in always in wonder of your ability to stick to principles and win big in the biggest state. how is this going over, the view you're taking now, which we're all in this together to some extent? it has to be a 60/40, something like that, deal. how is that going over with your colleagues in the senate? >> honestly, i believe everybody on my side of the aisle -- i haven't talked to much to my colleagues, my republican friends, because they're under a lot of pressure and i'm not going to put more pressure on them. but i think among the democrats, chris, what we understand is there's two things causing this fiscal cliff. just two things. they're very important things. one is the bush tax cuts are expiring. we want to make sure they stay the same for 98% of the people and just those over $250,000 will go back to the clinton rates. and we had the greatest prosperity under bill clinton.
and everybody knows that. 23 million jobs, balanced budgets, all the rest. it's not going to hurt anything. the second thing, the automatic spending cuts. so my view is we can climb down that cliff by doing what the president says on taxes, bringing home the money from the wars, and stopping those automatic cuts. we're off the cliff. and then we get together with goodwill, right in january with the new senate and the new house, and we hammer out the long-range solutions to all this. >> i want to you listen to something that your colleague, pattie murray, from washington state said on alex wagner's show about this fiscal cliff and her attitude toward it. i want to you react to it. >> sure. >> it's not a good idea to go over the fiscal cliff. no one wants to see that happen. it is a bad idea. but a worse idea is to accept a compromise that allows the wealthy americans to continue to not pay their fair share because the result of that will be
middle class families will bear the entire burden of the challenges that this country faces. that's not fair or responsible. >> how do we do it? how does this country manage to get a decently fair deal in time to beat this cliff, avoid it? >> tom cole said it all. take what the president has offered right now. make sure that 98% of the people aren't affected by any tax increases. that's how we get it started. and patty is absolutely right. we have all these problems facing us and this is the way to do it. a bad deal would be saying to the millionaires and billionaires, you're going to get a big tax break. that's what the elections was about. we held an election. it isn't as if this was a sidebar issue, chris. this was a main issue. >> i know. >> so, we can fix this. we can stop the sequester right now. we can make sure that 98% of the people don't pay one penny more
in their taxes. and we get off that fiscal cliff and we're on to the new year. and the markets will be happy. and the people will smile. and i think tom cole, again, i mean, maybe i'm hurting him by saying this, he had a lot of courage. and i hope that others will follow his lead. >> thanks so much, senator barbara boxer of california. i do believe the whole world is watching us. not just our money markets. i think they're watching us all over the world to see if we can be grown-ups. what did negotiators learn from abraham lincoln and his rivals? historian doris kearns goodwin comes here with a history lesson. she's going to tell us personally about it. ♪
selected for people over 50. pro-health for life is a toothpaste that defends against tender, inflamed gums, sensitivity and weak enamel. conditions people over 50 experience. crest pro-health for life. so jill can keep living the good life. crest. life opens up when you do. what we're having for lunch? actually, president obama has invited mitt romney for lunch at the white house tomorrow, the one-time rivals will meet tomorrow for a private lunch. their first encounter since the final dabate of the presidential campaign. in his re-election victory speech the president said he wanted to sit down with romney to talk about ideas on how to move the country forward. i guess they're all going to lean forward tomorrow. romney will also meet with his vice presidential running mate paul ryan when he's in washington tomorrow. we'll be right back.
we'll win the war, sir. it's inevitable, isn't it? >> well, ain't won yet. >> you'll begin your second term with divine stature. imagine the possibilities, peaceful and great, why tarnish your invaluable luster with a battle in the house? it's a rat's nest in there. the same gang of talentless hicks and hacks who rejected the amendment ten months ago.
we'll lose. >> i like our chances now. >> wow. we're back. that was a clip from the new steven spielberg movie "lincoln" based on doris kearns goodwin's "rivals." the house majority whip, kevin mccarthy rented out the film to show it to members of the house. what's the takeaway it is relevant in washington. joining us, doris cerns. congratulations for greatness. this is always the place for pom particulars. we want to talk about the politics. the movie focuses on the period in which the president, lincoln, near the last weeks of his life, just into his second term or before his second term commenced after he had been reelected when he put all the marbles on the table and said he was going to outlaw slavery. how did he get it done? >> he did it because he had the
strength of his conviction, an important lesson in leadership. he knew that if he didn't get the 13th amendment passed before the war ended it might never get passed. the democrats would never be willing to vote for it once peace came. he used compromise in every possible means possible to get it going. that's the lesson. you need the leadership with the strength of the conviction to stay by your understandings of what's important. then, you use politics, messy politics, to get it done. >> he used pork and patronage and persuasion. a lot of people would probably hold back. that's not politically correct. we can't do that. you can't buy a member of the congress with a job promise, because this is about history you are making here. you would say? >> i would say that you do what you can to achieve a worthy earns. he appealed both to the better angels of some of the angels he had to get to vote for the amendment by appealing to his sense of history and the war has to mean something just like lbj
appealed to dirkson saying if you come with me on the civil rights bill, you will be remembered for 200 years. only you and lincoln will be remembered. on the other hand, he gave dirkson every public works project dam that was going to sink illinois. lincoln did the same thing, what ever he was needed, assignments, jobs, the years before civil service. it was easier to do some of this then. >> the guy that stole the movie as far as i'm concerned was the same guy that stole that oliver stone movie "jfk" is tommy lee jones. tommy lee jones, playing thaddeus stevens, my hero, the guy that really did believe in emancipation and reconstruction and 40 acres and a mule and wanted to take the freed african-american and make him a full citizen economically, not just under the law. tell me about that guy. we can talk about lincoln forever. thaddeus stevens, his housekeeper was also his mistress.
i loved that scene when we discover that. it is a great performance as well as everything else. >> well, what's so powerful about both tommy lee jones performance and the actual thaddeus stevens is what lincoln had to do was to persuade someone far more radical than he, than the country at that time, to temper his debate on the house floor. if he said all the things that he really believed, that this amendment will open the way for blacks, for blacks voting, for blacks int marriage, than other people on the conservative side would have appealed away. you watch that face of his, when he is making that speech, when he is pulling back from his deepest convictions, because he he knows he needs to do this to get the compromise done. you need compromise on the conservative and radical side to reach the middle level. >> let me ask you about the way it worked tog. we all knew the emancipation approximation was a military tool to deplete the power of the south. slaves, make your move. you can get out now and you are free because of war rules. the power of the military, the
power of the president. why was it important -- was it the all related to the war that he would get permanent emancipation through the 13th amendment? was it related at all to the war? >> what he worried about was that once the war came to an end, the military necessity that legit mated the emancipation proclamation would no longer be there. the critical thing he had to face was that that meant the war had to keep going in order to get the emancipation proclamation passed. he expended the war in a certain sense by letting the peace talks go along slower than they might have accomplished something. >> was that a real offer from that group that came up, included the vice presidents of the confederacy. was that a really good offer he could have accepted otherwise? >> no, not as long the confederacy was still insisting somehow it had to be a compromise between two different countries. lincoln insisted, we are one country. as long as the war kept going on before the emancipation proclamation was passed. every kid that was killed, every
soldier that died, lincoln felt it personally. he felt it through the whole war but felt it more intensely then. he thought that saving slavery from going onward was worth that terrible price. >> doris kearns good win, congratulations. i love seeing the book with the new cover on it. that's the other cover. there is a new cover that just says lincoln on the cover. same book, bigger promotion from you. you deserve it. thank you. >> you are welcome, chris. when we return, let me finish with how lincoln outlawed slavery again for good. you are watching "hardball," a place for politics.
i have to say i am thrilled to see a good politician do a good piece of political work, something good fort people that need something good for them done. the film "lincoln" show what a true power our most beloved president was. he knew what the country needed, the dead end to slavery. he saw his opportunity and that door closing. if he didn't get it changed before the south got readmitted to the union, he wouldn't get it done when the confederates were back. yes, he used pork, yes, he used patronage. all measures are legal. lets never forget with slavery, it shows how lincoln managed to use legal means, pork, patronage, persuasion to get rid of one bit of evil.